Effect Of Herbals On Sleep And Their Interactions With Hypnotic Drugs

Author(s): Anil Kumar, S. K Kulkarni

The aim of the present study was to investigate the sleep promoting effect of herbals and their interaction with GABAergic drugs. Pentobarbitone-induced hypnosis test was used in order to prove the above hypothesis. Seep latency and total sleep time were used as parameters for the evaluation. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) or BR-16A (Mentat®) potentiated the effect of triazolam (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.). However, ashwagandha did not produce any significant effect with alprazolam (0.25 mg/kg, i.p.). Also melatonin (5.0 mg/kg, i.p.) and buspirone (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.) did not produce any significant effect on sleep parameters along with ashwagandha or BR 16A (100mg/ kg, p.o., P<0.05). Sleep promoting effect of BR-16A might be due to presence of ashwagandha. Its combination with GABAergic drugs (triazolam and alprazolam,) suggested that these drugs have common mechanism in sleep promoting effect of pentobarbitone and could be used along with other GABAergic hypnotics for the treatment of insomnia. This may reduce the dose of the latter drug(s). BR-16A or ashwagandha can be used for the treatment of sleep and related disorders.